Bullying is the act of belittling another person verbally, physically, or both. Bullying can be devastating for families, whether your child is the victim or the perpetrator. In either case, it’s imperative that you do not remain a bystander and allow this behavior to continue.You need to learn what to say and What to Do If Your Child is a Bully.
What to Do If Your Child is a Bully: Bullying Bystander
A bullying bystander watches from the sidelines as one person belittles another and does nothing to help, or a bullying bystander enables the abuser to continue their behavior because it is easier than addressing deeper problems.
Dealing with the effects of bullying may be difficult for the victim’s family, but a harder road must be taken when parents realize their child is the bully. Most often, the root of the problem lies within the home of the bully and it takes courage to address these issues for the sake of the child.
Parents must ask themselves if their child has witnessed bullying by either parent. Often, children that become bullies have been abused themselves and mimic the behavior among their peers. Violent movies and video games may be a factor, but are seldom the sole cause of bullying behavior.
It’s imperative that parents confront the situation honestly and seek help if necessary. It may be difficult to believe that your child has behaved badly and it may be instinctive to jump to your child’s defense when the accusations occur. If, after discussing the issue(s) with your child and school, and see clearly that your child is at fault in the bullying dynamic, consequences should be discussed.
An individual within a family or school should never be a bullying bystander. If a person is witness to abusive action (verbal or physical) it is that person’s responsibility to take action.
What to Do If Your Child is a Bully: Take Action
As a parent, it is your responsibility to stop the abusive behavior. Denial only enables your role of bullying bystander, which benefits no one. Though it may be hard to confront personal issues, the future of your child depends on your bravery. Did you know that bullies in middle school are more apt to have a criminal conviction by the young age of 24?
Of course you love your child and it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad parent if your child is a bully. It is vital that you learn and address what is causing his/her behavior to change patterns while your child is young. Make sure that your child feels valuable and respected and keep the lines of communication open.
Find the source of your child’s anger. Is he/she imitating how you as parents manage your anger? Most often, you will find that a child reflects what they see at home. If a parent is abusive, professional help (counseling) may be required to help the whole family. If your child’s anger comes from outside of the home, it may be a community issue and necessary to involve other families and the school.
When another student is involved, communication with the other family may benefit everyone. Once issues are discussed, these problems can be resolved. When both parties are on the same page, issues can be handled together instead of with anger. When families come together, the image of dealing with an enemy is extinguished and real relationships can be forged, which benefits the children involved in a very profound way.
What to Do If Your Child is a Bully at School and Home
Always work with your child’s school. When there is a problem, your child will benefit from his/her school knowing that you understand and are cooperative. Sometimes a bully is born from a victim. Always instil value in you child and maintain affection in the home. When your child feels confident, his anger will be diffused and anger issues will be lessened at school or within the community.
What to Do If Your Child is a Bully: Role Reversal
As children grow, roles change and power is sought in peer dynamics. When it appears that the bully has the power and the victim has none, as the victim grows bigger and stronger, he/she may assume the “power” role as a survival tactic.
Whatever the cause of bullying behavior it is essential to find the root cause and work from there. An adult is a compilation of his childhood, so do all you can as a loving parent, to provide a respectful and peaceful environment for your child.